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New photo album on war of 1812 presented in Smolensk

August 15, 2012, 18:56 UTC+3

Russia is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino this year and will reconstruct it as part of the celebrations

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SMOLENSK, August 15 (Itar-Tass) — A photo album, titled “Smolensk Region and the Patriotic War of 1812”, was presented at Smolensk’s History Museum on Wednesday, August 15.

“The task was not to tell of those events but to show them,” Igor Shkurlov, one of the photo album’s authors, told Itar-Tass.

The album features, inter alia, photos made at the centenary celebrations of the victory over Napoleon and includes 350 illustrations: paintings, graphic images and photographs.

The photo album is a result of the joint work of many people and uses materials provided by several museums, including the Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum, State Hermitage and the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History.

Historians say that the war became truly patriotic in the Smolensk region where several crucial battles took place that played an important, and sometimes dividing, role in the victory over the French army.

Russia is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino this year and will reconstruct it as part of the celebrations.

More than 3,000 Russian and foreign volunteers will help reconstruct the Battle of Borodino on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Napoleon in the war of 1812.

“We expect 700 participants from France, Poland, Belgium, Scotland and other countries,” Deputy Culture Minister Andrei Busygin told Itar-Tass, adding that up to 400 horses will be used for the purpose.

“Foreign volunteers will bring their own weapons and all the necessary equipment. Ours will provide their clubs will everything they need,” the official said.

The historical reconstruction is supposed to be the greatest one throughout the history of conducting the event. Russian and foreign volunteers will play the roles of French and Russian soldiers. For the first time in the history of reconstruction, members of brass orchestras and male choruses will have an opportunity to take part in it. They will be located near the place of the performance and will accompany the unfolding battle with the music to make the event more real. All the orchestras and choruses will be grouped according to the colour and located on different sides of the battlefield. According to the scenario, each of the orchestras and choruses will play the music of “its own troops”.

At the end of the battle, the joined orchestra and chorus will execute a programme of historical musical compositions. In conclusion, the famous overture “1812” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky will be played.

The Battle of Borodino was the biggest battle in the war of 1812, during which Napoleon’s army lost more than 50,000 troops (about 30,000 according to French statistics), and the Russia army over 44,000.

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